We moved to Dale Farm from West Yorkshire exactly 2 years ago today. Our favourite phrase has become ‘it’s a farmhouse’ – translation – this is a very old rural property with a lot of idiosyncrasies and nothing is ever going to be perfect (unlike the suburban 1960’s house we came from.)
But we humans adapt. So, when we have torrential downpours and the wind is in a certain direction and some of the windows leak…we just put towels on the window sills. There is occasionally a weird smell in seemingly random places around the farm…it’s not pleasant and after many months of investigating, we don’t know what it is…we just open a window.
Worst of all, as anyone who lives in the country knows, when the weather is hot and the farmers are harvesting, we get flies…the ONLY thing that works is old fashioned fly papers…we have a lot to learn from spiders re the dispatching of flies which is why I tend to leave cobwebs untouched (deliberate honestly). You might think ‘yuk’ but after a while you just don’t notice them. As if to prove my point, we had a party of country vets in a few weeks ago who were very bemused when I asked if the flies were bothering them…’what flies?’ they said. It has taken me a bit longer than Paul – he is a little bit country and I’m not – but I am getting there and literally have no fear of any of the creatures that share our property (invited and uninvited.)
There was another anniversary a few weeks ago when we celebrated our 30th year of marriage with dinner at James Martin’s Malton restaurant in the lovely Talbot Hotel. I realise that the relationship with an old house is a bit like a long marriage; none of us is perfect but to survive you have to adapt and learn to love the flaws.